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What's going on? I am told that if I want to upgrade (from 14.04 LTS) I should have that "Let me know of new LTS versions" checkbox checked (which I do) in my software updates settings. However, if I want to upgrade I must download 16.04. Or, I can wait 3 months until 16.04.1 comes out and then it will just upgrade through software updater. If it's an upgrade, why need I download?

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    14.04 users will be offered an upgrade when the first point release of 16.04 is out. This is done to ensure most if not all issues still present in 16.04 are solved.
    – xangua
    Apr 23 '16 at 16:00
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New LTS releases are only offered at the first “point release”: 14.04.1, 16.04.1, (probably) 18.04.1, etc. This is done because by then most of the bugs that only show up after a release goes public will be fixed, and people who prefer LTS releases usually prefer a stable system that works without giving them too much trouble.

You can (temporarily) select the option to inform you about all new releases instead of only new LTS releases if you want to be offered an update now. But remember that there might be some issues that affect you still...

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To have a check you can simply do from terminal

do-release-upgrade -c

this will check if the actual release is open. If yes run the command

sudo do-release-upgrade

without any parameter.

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